Vehicle That Hit Trinity College Students in Hartford Found in New Haven: Police

Police said one student was killed and another is in critical condition.

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A 20-year-old Trinity College student has died and a 19-year-old Trinity student is in critical condition after they were struck near the campus in Hartford on Thursday night. Police said they have found the vehicle that struck them and are looking for the driver who fled the scene.

Police have identified the victim who died as Jillian Hegarty, 20, of Saint Johnsbury, Vermont.

Another 20-year-old Trinity College student was struck and has been released from the hospital after she was treated for minor injuries, police said during a news conference Friday morning.

The students were trying to cross New Britain Avenue at Henry Street just after 11:30 p.m. Thursday when they were struck by a gray Volkswagen Touareg and the driver fled and went east on New Britain Avenue, according to police.

The crash was caught on video, police said.

They were looking for help to find the vehicle, a 2004 to 2007 gray Volkswagen with front-end damage and released two images of the vehicle they were looking for.

Hartford police released this photo.
Hartford police released this image of the vehicle they are looking for.

On Friday afternoon, police said the vehicle was found in New Haven.

The Trinity community was mourning Hegarty's death and planning a gathering in the school's chapel Friday afternoon to remember her, a school official said.

All three students were members of the Class of 2024, the Associated Press reports.

"This hit-and-run accident comes as a great shock to us all," Joe DiChristina, the school's vice president for student success and enrollment management, said in an email to students, faculty, staff and alumni. ''Nothing could have prepared us for this kind of news and the senseless loss of life. It is simply heartbreaking."

Hegarty attended St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont before coming to Trinity.

The school's headmaster, Dr. Sharon Howell, issued a statement Friday afternoon and said Hegarty was someone that everyone looked up to. She said Hegarty was a dancer, a camp counselor, a student orientation leader, and a community service volunteer.

"An entire community in St. Johnsbury is mourning and in shock today. The best way to describe Jillian is the perfect role model," Howell said. "She was known for her smile and her great sense of humor. Anyone who knew Jillian loved her, and her loss is devastating."

Anyone with information is asked to call Hartford police at 860-757-4000 or the tipline at 860-722-TIPS.

NBC Connecticut and Associated Press
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